Nutritional Development Services (NDS) celebrated the successful completion of its 2012 Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive in conjunction with archdiocesan schools and outreach programs on Friday, Nov. 16 at Little Flower High School in North Philadelphia.

The agency of Catholic Human Services provides meals, food assistance and additional support to organizations serving children and the poor as an extension of the mission of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Students presented NDS the peanut butter and jelly collected by their school.  More than 65,000 pounds of peanut butter and jelly have been collected throughout the Archdiocese since Sept. 10.

NDS marked the start of its School Lunch Program Nov. 7 at the newly formed Blessed Trinity Regional Catholic School in Philadelphia with a special blessing of the program in the school cafeteria.  Father Stephen Leva, pastor of St. Timothy Parish, and Father Joseph Zingaro, pastor of St. John Cantius Parish, were on hand to bless the students, staff, food and equipment.

NDS provides healthy, affordable meals to students attending more than 100 Catholic, charter and private elementary schools throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania’s five counties.  The meals are funded in part through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

St. Cecilia School in the city’s Fox Chase section was the site for a special day marking National School Lunch Week Oct. 18. The school is one of the newest partner sites for NDS.

Students received nutrition puzzles, coloring sheets and stickers to remind them of the importance of eating healthy at school and at home.  A proclamation celebrating National School Lunch Week was read at lunchtime in the school cafeteria.

St. Cecilia’s joins 130 other Catholic elementary schools, as well as charter and private schools, in the five-county-area making healthy meals available to its students under the sponsorship of NDS.  The federally funded National School Lunch Program serves more than 31 million children every school day by providing nutritionally balanced and healthy meals to students.  The program has been serving the nation’s children for over 60 years.  (Photos by Sarah Webb)